Course offerings


Piano instruction

Dr. O"Steen offers individual instruction for any age student at any level of proficiency.  Beginners or advanced, the casual learner who simply wants to play fortheir own enjoyment, or the highly motivated student who wants to achieve their highest possible level of artistry.  For the beginner, it is a sound and thorough approach that assures an understanding of fundamentals of music and the piano, taking an approach that is fun for any child or older beginner. Those who are interested in collegiate/professional studies, scholarship auditions, or competition are encouraged to enquire.  Confidence in performance, sound practice methods, insights into depth of interpretation.  Regardless of the level or particular interest of the student, instruction is always focused on developing a knowledgeable, skilled, and competent pianist who will possess a playing facility for a lifetime of enjoyment. 

Individual piano instruction in popular styles

Instruction in popular styles is tailored to suit the current level of the student.  Studies in popular styles are focused largely on learning basic chord forms and harmony, with work in improvisation techniques.  A suitable level of technical facility and chord shape recognition is developed to allow the student to read the keyboard effectively.  The ability to read music is not necessary but can be developed to meet the students' goals.  The student will learn to read chord symbols, charts and chord terminology.  Projects in the creation of original music can be incorporated as well as the study and performance of existing popular music as the student desires.

individual instruction in jazz piano

Jazz piano instruction offers studies in jazz harmony and improvisation.  Chord types and scale patterns are explored to help the student develop a functional harmonic vocabulary.  Keyboard vision for chord recognition is developed so the student can begin an individual journey toward performance level improvisation and creation of music in the style.  Regular creative study assignments are given along with the examination of various jazz literature.  The focus is on developing a functioning, individual style for the student.

Individual music composition

Music composition is offered at various levels with focus designed to suit the objectives of the student.  Students who are interested in serious composition (art music) should have the ability to read music.  Those interested in popular styles may or may not need reading skills to varying degrees depending on their objectives.  The course gives considerable attention to the creative process and its use within the context of the student's current knowledge.  Individual composition projects will be central to the work in this course.  Lesson times and their frequency are flexible.    

Group composition

Group composition classes are available on demand.  Students will be able to hear the works of others in the class and have their own music heard.  Those interested can receive instruction in notation software (Finale).  This class meets weekly.  

group piano i for youth beginners

Class piano offers a more economical way of gaining an introduction to and understanding of music and playing the piano.  Classes are limited to four students to assure sufficient attention for each student.  The class piano facility also allows for individual attention while others are able to practice silently.  This specially designed course of study provides the student with a clear understanding of notation and staff structure, rhythm, fingering, and the proper use of their hands.  Reading skill is developed and performance literature is learned and performed.  This is a four month class after which the student is well prepared for individual lessons or for continuation in Group piano II.

Group piano ii for youth beginners

This section of class piano is available to students who have completed class piano I for beginners, or those who can demonstrate skills equivalent to completion of class piano I.  This course provides an opportunity to develop the skills introduced in the first course, and to begin exploring some of the expressive/musical aspects of playing in the use of musically more substantial literature.  The student will begin to learn the use of dynamics, articulation, tempo fluctuation, and begin to experience music as an art form that can, through their own playing, depict the world in which they live.  Many students who complete this course successfully will develop an interest in continuing their study of music and the piano.  At that point individual lessons are recommended and, in my professional opinion, are appropriate.   This is a four month course offered at the same fee rate though the small fees for materials are slightly higher for this class.

Music appreciation/Music theoryet. al.

What is that instrument?  What does it sound like?  Why does some music sound odd?  What is a symphony, a sonata?  What is jazz?   Have you ever heard a thunderstorm in music?  Birds singing?  Bug noises at night?  A guillotine fall!?  How can music depict the world around us?  We will hear Prokoffief's Peter and the Wolf and Britten's Young People's Guide to the Orchestra and explore the instruments.  Give your childa chance to find the spark of that musical experience that inspires them to a lifetime of musical enrichment.   Music theory/fundamentals offers a clear and understandable explanation of the basics that every musician needs.  With a grasp of note recognition, rhythmic notation and meter, physical aspects of rhythm and their "inner clock," listening skills, understanding the staff, your child can be well prepared for those challenging first months of instrumental instruction with an excellent chance for success in their early years of study.  Class size varies.  Classes start monthly on demand.  Early day and evening classes for adults and homeschoolers are available by demand.  Music theory classes are available for group or individual environments.  All classes are available for youth or adults.  Please enquire.